Freshman New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is catching heat for paying close to $300 to get her hair done, while people familiar with the cost of women’s hair care in urban areas are greeting the accusation with a collective, “Meh.”
On Wednesday, The Washington Times ran the attention-grabbing headline, “EXCLUSIVE: Self-declared socialist AOC splurges on high-dollar hairdo.”
The paper went on to point out how Ocasio-Cortez, “a self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway,” blew close to $300 on her ‘do.
Specifically, she visited Last Tangle Salon on 19th Street Northwest in Washington and spent $80 on a cut and $180 on coloring. Had she tipped 20 percent, that would have added another $52 to the bill, making her trip to the stylist a $312 venture.
An employee at the salon described Ocasio-Cortez as “very nice” and said she posed for pictures with other customers.
Nice or not, the Times quoted a pundit who compared the Representative to former First Lady of Argentina Eva Peron.
“AOC is the Eva Peron of American politics. She preaches socialism while living the life of the privileged,” said Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government.
Meanwhile, the paper noted that Ocasio-Cortez could have been in and out for about $100 had she made use of the services of the Capitol Hill Barbershop, which is supported in part by federal tax dollars.
However, MarketWatch writer Shawn Langlois suggests that the outrage over the high-dollar hairdo is much ado about not a lot.
“Women in major cities across America collectively asked, ‘So?'”
Langlois provided data that noted that the price Ocasio-Cortez paid for her work was about in line with what a woman could expect for the same service in just about any major city, particularly one like Washington, which has a steep cost of living. Langlois also pointed to data that shows that women generally pay more for the hair care than men, although some salons are attempting to move away from gender-specific pricing.
Over on Twitter, several women took exception to the Times‘ report.
One, for example, noted that socialism doesn’t mean that everyone has to live in poverty.
so...a normal haircut, then?— Anthony Oliveira (@meakoopa) October 10, 2019
socialism doesn't mean "let's all squat in the dirt eating worms" it means "no one gets to be a god-king floating atop a billion-dollar raft they can never spend in a thousand lifetimes while people die without medicare or food" pic.twitter.com/7ckCTWEfzb
Another user noted that no newspaper would print a story about a man spending that much for a haircut, and that if Ocasio-Cortez looked anything other than her best, the paper would have had something to say about that as well.
i would spend this much for a haircut and color when I lived back East and I wasn't even appearing on national television and subject to constant interrogation of pretty much every aspect of my physical appearance https://t.co/8DsvXiQfVT— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) October 10, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, said that her haters are just “mad” because she and other Democrats, while advocating for Medicare for all and prosperity for working people, “look good doing it.”